Woman scammed by fake lawyer in Colorado

Her deportation has now been postponed

Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez, whose case led to a massive mobilization in Denver, will now be able to stay with her family in the U.S. after a judge postponed her deportation until the end of the year.

Imelda’s story started back in 2006 when the state of Colorado passed a package of anti-immigrant laws that, among other things, requires that a person who wants to renew a license for regulated occupations must first prove that they are legally in the country.

So Gonzalez went to someone who resulted to pretend to be a lawyer, and told her that he could manage her immigration case to get her a work permit and renew her cosmetologist license. This promise turned out to be fraudulent and the "lawyer" took the money, without ever doing anything.

The alleged attorney is said to have scammed at least 500 people, which many of them are now facing deportation orders. This man has not been identified and is still at large.

On Thursday morning, Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez presented herself at the immigration federal court in Denver, and thought she was going to be immediately deported. But Tania Soto Valenzuela, who is Imelda’s daughter of Imelda, told Efe that the judge overseeing the case postponed a final decision on the deportation until 4 December.

"This is good news, because it gives Imelda's family more time to fight the case and Imelda more time to spend with her family," said Celia Reyes-Martinez, who is a member of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Meanwhile, Jordan Garcia, director of AFSC, said Imelda’s case exemplifies the need for "immigration reform with a clear path to citizenship."




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